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Challenges, Volume 10, Issue 2 (December 2019)

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Open AccessPerspective
Bringing Fronts Back: A Research Agenda to Investigate the Health and Well-Being Impacts of Front Gardens
Challenges 2019, 10(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10020037 - 24 Sep 2019
Viewed by 537
Abstract
This perspective article proposes an agenda to investigate the impacts of front gardens (yards) on health and well-being. As front gardens are increasingly being paved over, significant ecological benefits will be lost. In addition, urban green infrastructure has a measurable role to play [...] Read more.
This perspective article proposes an agenda to investigate the impacts of front gardens (yards) on health and well-being. As front gardens are increasingly being paved over, significant ecological benefits will be lost. In addition, urban green infrastructure has a measurable role to play in addressing major public health issues related to mental health, chronic stress, inflammatory, and cardiovascular diseases. The social value of front gardens remains un-quantified. Future research can contribute to assessing the psycho-socio-cultural value of front gardens, and fostering healthy environments for people to live, work, and play in. A better understanding of the health impacts of front gardens can provide a relatable argument to protect permeable surfaces and spaces for nature, as well as to discourage the general public from paving over their front gardens. We propose eight central research questions to be addressed in future work, and elaborate on further variables, lines of inquiry, and suggested intervention trials and observational studies. Potential research findings will have implications for decision-making in fields of horticulture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and public health. Full article
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Open AccessViewpoint
Social Cohesion and City Green Space: Revisiting the Power of Volunteering
Challenges 2019, 10(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10020036 - 20 Sep 2019
Viewed by 206
Abstract
Urban green spaces can facilitate positive social interactions in numerous ways. These interactions may lead to the development of social cohesion among city dwellers. This article provides a viewpoint on the potential role that the presence of green space and volunteering can play [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces can facilitate positive social interactions in numerous ways. These interactions may lead to the development of social cohesion among city dwellers. This article provides a viewpoint on the potential role that the presence of green space and volunteering can play in the construct of social cohesion. Specifically, the article focuses on one aspect of social cohesion, volunteerism, as a way to illustrate the immense potential of social cohesion to link health with place and the planet. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Challenges in Recruitment and Selection Process: An Empirical Study
Challenges 2019, 10(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10020035 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Today’s knowledge economy very much depends on the value created by the human resource of an organisation. In such a highly competitive environment, organisations have started to pay much attention to the recruitment and selection process, as employees form their main asset. However, [...] Read more.
Today’s knowledge economy very much depends on the value created by the human resource of an organisation. In such a highly competitive environment, organisations have started to pay much attention to the recruitment and selection process, as employees form their main asset. However, the critical factors involved in the employee selection process is not well studied. Previous studies on the recruitment and selection process have been performed mainly to study the performance of the employees and the criteria attracting the right talent leading to employee retention and organizational efficiency. The distinction of this paper is that it studies the existing recruitment and selection process adopted by tertiary and dual education sectors in both urban and regional areas within Australia. The purpose of this research is to conduct an empirical study to identify the critical aspects of the employee selection process that can influence the decision based on different perspectives of the participants such as, hiring members, successful applicants as well as unsuccessful applicants. Various factors such as feedback provision, interview panel participation and preparations, relevance of interview questions, duration and bias were analysed, and their correlations were studied to gain insights in providing suitable recommendations for enhancing the process. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
High-Rise Apartments and Urban Mental Health—Historical and Contemporary Views
Challenges 2019, 10(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10020034 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 590
Abstract
High-rise apartment buildings have long been associated with the poor mental health of their residents. The aims of this paper are to examine whether this connection is necessarily so, by reviewing the evidence relating to the relationships between high-rise living and social wellbeing, [...] Read more.
High-rise apartment buildings have long been associated with the poor mental health of their residents. The aims of this paper are to examine whether this connection is necessarily so, by reviewing the evidence relating to the relationships between high-rise living and social wellbeing, occupant’s stress levels, and the influence they have on mental health. From selected literature, psychological stress and poor mental health outcomes of the populations that live in high-rise apartments are indeed apparent, and this is particularly so for apartments in poor neighbourhoods. Yet many apartments in developed cities are in affluent areas (particularly those with views of green/blue space), where residences on higher floors are more expensive. Either way, high-rise living and mental health outcomes are a social justice issue. Our review allows us to propose two models relating to high-rise living relevant today, based on these differences. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
The Scientist: Creator and Destroyer—“Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” Is a Wake-Up Call for Researchers
Challenges 2019, 10(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10020033 - 31 Jul 2019
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Scientists investigate, describe, invent and create. Most advances in medicine, technology and understanding of the living world in the context of the cosmos, are attributable to systematic efforts by expert researchers. However, pervasive toxins, persistent environmental pollution, destructive weaponry and resource depletion are [...] Read more.
Scientists investigate, describe, invent and create. Most advances in medicine, technology and understanding of the living world in the context of the cosmos, are attributable to systematic efforts by expert researchers. However, pervasive toxins, persistent environmental pollution, destructive weaponry and resource depletion are also outcomes of scientific efforts. Furthermore, although we have reached great advances in some research fields, other issues are enigmatic and arguably could be investigated with other methods or mindsets. That, however, brings us to a paradoxical realization: Despite the fact that there are more scientists in this world than ever before, due to socialization and indoctrination we are currently suffering from reduced cognitive diversity within academic disciplines. Arguably, scientists are not taught to think independently and differently, instead we are educated into a compliant, univocal and homogenous, ‘Wissenschaftlicher Denkkollektiv.’ Full article
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